2011 could be termed “Max Frisch Year” as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth and commemorate the 20th year of his death. Max Frisch, one of the leading writers and thinkers of the post-World War II era, not only dominated the Swiss literary scene for decades, but significantly influenced the public and literary scene in Switzerland, Germany, and wherever else his works were published and his plays performed.
Max Frisch was born in Zurich on May 15, 1911, and died in Zurich on April 4, 1991. Before dedicating himself full-time to writing, Frisch worked as a journalist and later became an architect. In his novels, plays, and diaries, Frisch analyzed the world around him and did not shy away from difficult topics. He used irony to great effect to make his position clear or expose society’s approach to complex problems. Frisch’s work has been widely read and translated. It has not lost any of its core truths and freshness and continues to be translated into new languages.
Dr. Barbara Villiger Heilig, literary critic and editor of Neue Zürcher Zeitung, shares her insights regarding Max Frisch in her talk “Between Old and New World: Max Frisch and His Love-Hate relationship with the U.S.” Ruth Schwertfeger, Professor of German at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, leads the post-lecture discussion.
Recorded Monday, September 26, 2011 at the Goethe Institut-Chicago.